I recently had a 6-hour layover in Miami. The airport is so not where I want to be, so there was no better way to kill time than a visit to the new Viceroy hotel. This gave me a chance to actually check out the much-anticipated opening of the Philippe Starck-designed spa. Located on Brickell, Viceroy opened two months ago and caters to affluent travelers. Famous designer diva Kelly Wearstler gave it a nice, contemporary chic allure, and the outdoor pool seems to go on for miles (it's the longest in the entire state of Florida).
But it's the 28,000-square-foot, full-service Spa that had me at Hello. I'm not joking. It's one of the best designs I've ever come across and with good reason, considering it's the design work of Philippe Starck. There's a 2,500-square foot fitness facility , a 5,000-square foot water lounge with floating library, reflecting pond, hot and cold plunge pools and floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook Key Biscayne. The natural light that comes in bounds can make any photographer super giddy.
I was impressed with the men's lounge area. The steam room was a clear, tempered-glass enclosed room, and a gorgeous chandelier hung over the large marble table/sink. Incredible. The staff was also quick on their feet, happy to help and happy to be there (who wouldn't be??). I opted for the signature Antilles body scrub treatment where they used pure sugar and vanilla. Needless to say, it was quite decadent.
For a spa like this, you know they're going to be quite choosy about what brands they carry for their services. That's why I was intrigued and impressed to discover Ola, an all-natural line based out of Hawaii (the Big Island). The staff were extremely enthusiastic about this line (moreso than the other brands they carried, which I've already forgotten about).
Because it wasn't used in my treatment, I got a sample then checked out the brand. Everything clearly smells like Hawaii and already I'm sold. They use natural and organic products and ingredients whenever possible, and are completely paraben free. I like how Ola uses natural biodegradable surfactants made from renewable raw materials and vegetable based emulsifiers to blend their indigenous ingredients together. To me, that's very "Hawaiian" (I can't think of a good brand that wouldn't take advantage of their own natural resources).
I had to try the face mask, mostly because I'm a sucker for volcanic clay, and there's loads of it in this mask. It's known to draw out toxins and reduce inflammation so it's no less than perfect for the mask I generally like to use. Believe it or not, there is a scent that comes with the mask, thanks to the floral blend of jasmine, pikake and ylang. How often does this happen? And it's not as subtle as I had assumed. The mask went on very smooth and thin and dried out after fifteen minutes. My face felt incredibly refreshed and soothed. I love that aloe vera was a strong component, which is rich in vitamins, enzymes, proteins and acts as anti-inflammatory.
I'm definitely looking forward to trying more of the range, even if I have to go through another 6-hour layover... perfect excuse for another Viceroy Spa excursion!
*Jasmine Flower Tea, Bentonite Clay, *Hibiscus Flower Tea, Passion Fruit Oil, *Sugar Cane Extract, Hydrolyzed Silk, *Noni Fruit, *Orchid Extract, *Passion Flower Extract, Aloe Leaf Powder, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Sorbic Acid, *Orange Blossom Fragrance, Essential Oils Of: Orange, Ylang Ylang, Jasmine Absolute, Bitter Orange, Tangerine, Rosewood, Lemon. *Organically or sustainably grown